Canada’s job vacancy rate stays at 3% in Q1 2018: CFIB

By Staff | June 5, 2018 | Last updated on June 5, 2018
2 min read

Canada’s job vacancy rate remained at 3% in the first quarter of this year, says a report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

The Q1 “Help Wanted” report found about 407,000 private sector jobs were unfilled for at least four months. The observed job vacancy rate—the proportion of unfilled jobs relative to all available jobs in the private sector—stayed the same as in Q4 2017 and rose from 2.6% in the same quarter last year.

“Small businesses are feeling the pressure of prolonged job vacancies, especially in British Columbia and Quebec, where the record high vacancy rates are still on the rise,” said Ted Mallett, chief economist at CFIB, in a release. “Affected businesses are responding with wage increases, or adjustments to their product lines or capital spending in some cases.”

Statistics Canada reported that the country’s unemployment rate for April was 5.8%, a record low for the third month in a row.

Read: Unemployment steady at 5.8% as wage growth reaches six-year high

The vacancy rates across Canada changed as follows, the CFIB report says:

  • rose to 3.8% in British Columbia and 3.7% in Quebec, the two provinces with the tightest labour markets;
  • small increase to 3.2% in Ontario and 2.7% in Manitoba;
  • unchanged in New Brunswick (2.7%), Alberta (2.4%) and Nova Scotia (2.4%); and
  • decreased slightly in Saskatchewan (2.1%), Newfoundland and Labrador (1.8%) and Prince Edward Island (1.1%).

Rises in vacancy rates for seven sectors was offset by a steady decline in vacancies in six sectors. The personal services sector had the largest rise of 4.8% in the vacancy rate. The vacancy rate in the construction sector stayed high at 3.6%.

The vacancy rates put upward pressure on wages. Employers with at least one vacancy expect to increase average wages across their organization by 3.1% while businesses without any vacancies plan to raise wages by an average of 2.4%, says the report.

Read the full report here.

Also read:

The story behind Canada’s labour market trends

Q1 sees biggest pay raise for U.S. workers in 11 years staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.